A lot of heart has gone into creating Jake’s Ice Cream, a business that’s not like other local ice cream shops. This one will employ special-needs adults who otherwise may have a difficult time finding a job.
“I’ve worked with the special-needs community my entire career, in addition to having a family member with special needs,” says owner Robin Rinearson, who has spent nearly 45 years as an optometrist in Bailey’s Crossroads. She named the ice cream shop after her nephew, Jake, who lost his job due to the pandemic. “My motivation was Jake,” she says.
Jake’s Ice Cream, currently under construction in Barcroft Plaza on Columbia Pike with plans to open in early to mid-July, will be an old-fashioned ice cream shop with a difference. Customers will be able to choose from 24 flavors of 14 percent butterfat ice cream, but also four non-dairy, vegan, coconut-based flavors. There will be no shortage of sundaes, shakes, to-go pints, and even a weekly assortment of housemade confections like cake pops, ice-cream cakes, and hot cocoa bombs. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks will also be available. Each of Jake’s ice creams will be made in small batches on the premises, giving life to the shop’s motto “made with pride by loving hands.”
So far, Rinearson has hired nine employees with special needs, as well as some local high school students, and she’s looking to hire more. What makes Jake’s Ice Cream extra special is that employees will get to learn just about everything it takes to run an ice cream shop.
“Not only are we having them work in the ice cream parlor making ice cream, we are also doing community outreach,” says Rinearson. She plans to introduce staff to the neighboring Harris Teeter, where they can go if they run low on supplies, and the nearby dry cleaner, where they can have aprons cleaned.
“We’re doing everything we can to integrate these young people into their local community,” she says. 5363 Columbia Pike, Ste. 200, Falls Church
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